The birth of your baby can only happen one time. No repeats. No take backs. No do overs. Alabama Doula Juanita Harris of Southern Charm Doula Services is answering 12 questions you might want to ask before hiring her so you can make an informed decision when booking.
How is an Alabama doula different than a midwife?
As an Alabama Doula, I am educated on pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum and I share that education with expecting parents. I want my clients to understand the benefits and risks of all interventions so that they can give informed consent from evidence based studies. Parents often need a listening ear to process their choices. During labor, doulas provide emotional and physical support to both parents, working together as a team. Midwives are responsible for the medical aspects of maternity care and often take the time to form a bond with their patients.
What is your birth philosophy?
Birth has been a natural physiological occurrence since the beginning of time. I believe when left to its own time schedule and with the parents feeling supported, medical interventions are not often needed. I do value having a medical professional that supports a birthing persons’ choices, on the team to watch for possible medical needs.
How long have you worked as a doula?
I have been supporting births and new families since 2015.
What is your training background?
I was initially trained by UCSD Hospital in California to be a labor doula. I have continued growing through DONA International (birth), CAPPA (postpartum), Madriella (birth and postpartum), Spinning Babies, Rebozo Certification, Sleep Training with Summers Sleep Secrets and am currently on track to become a Certified Lactation Consultant this summer. I also provide Placenta Encapsulation Specialist.
What inspired you to become a doula?
I began by supporting women in the military whose spouses were deployed. I immediately saw the raw power that women have to give birth and found that pouring myself into giving them support helped prevent so much of the birth trauma we hear about. A woman transitions into a mother when she gives birth and she deserves unbiased support through that season of life.
What locations do you provide services to?
Most of my clients give birth in Montgomery, Alabama and live within an hours drive but I have also traveled out of state to several clients who wanted my expertise.
I’m in my third trimester, is it too late to book you?
I often book out 8-10 months in advance but I get inquiries in the last trimester. I’ve been interviewed and hired the day someone finds out they’re pregnant to the client who was already in labor at the hospital. It’s never too late!
Tell me about your most memorable doula experience.
With over 150 birth experiences, I could never narrow it down to just one! All births are unique and special. I do think of the births where during labor, clients were told they needed a Cesearean section due to the positioning of the baby and they used their voice to request an hour working alone with their doula first. When utilizing my trainings prevents an unwanted C-section and the nurses and OBs want to learn how I did it, it’s an amazing feeling to know they will in turn help other women!
What equipment do you bring to a birth?
I bring a rebozo, a TENS unit, an electric pump for birth balls but my hands and my heart are the most important.
Do you offer postpartum doula services?
I do! New parents have so many questions over the first few days and months. The benefit of in-home support from someone specifically trained in newborn care outweighs the often outdated information shared in blogs and on social media.
What is your favorite part of being a doula?
Helping couples navigate their way into parenthood and watching them succeed. When they feel confident in their choices and in following their intuition, I feel accomplished.
What do you wish all expecting parents knew before birth?
You have a choice and say so in every aspect of your care. You do not relinquish your body autonomy because you are having a baby, Informed consent and doula support help prevent birth trauma!
Central Alabama doula services for the best birth experience
What an amazing summation of the value of a Alabama doula. I wish I had known of this resource when I was having my babies. I know Juanita is as passionate about serving her expecting mamas as I am in my photography. If you would like to contact Juanita about her doula services you can visit her site “Southern Charm Doula”.
If you’re looking for other birth resources check out these other posts:
5 Montgomery Pediatricians You Need to Know About
Why You Should Hire A Montgomery AL Doula
To learn more about a photography experience with me click here or if you’d like to chat about booking a session click here.